thatcow

You have a nice face too

That line about having a nice face is from Bounce, a movie that would be a comedy except for the plane crash, alcoholism, and some pretty dark secrets to keep from a human being.

Our two pretty faces are Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow. Affleck is the advertising executive ("Buddy" - what better character name for a comedy?) who swaps places with Paltrow's husband on a flight. The flight subsequently crashes, leaving Paltrow widowed and Affleck descending into alcohol for being so lucky to live.

Naturally, these two people meet and fall in love but seem doomed by their relationship to that recent tragedy. When they are in full swing of their denial, Affleck starts spending a lot of time with Paltrow's kids, and the family dog, which is also named "Buddy" (did I just hear a rimshot?).

We watch the game of uncertainty play out between the two, and before that gets stale, of course the inevitable secrets come out. Once the premise is established, there's not really much in the plot that's surprising. But there are small touches of brilliance that illuminate the screen. Paltrow's character is strong, and she shows a lot of her range. Affleck makes the right facial expressions, which usually works, but occasionally seem wooden.

This movie also heralds the triumphant return of Johnny Galecki. Well, maybe "triumphant" is a bit much, and perhaps it's not technically a "return", but it's amusing to see his understated performance - which could have been more realized if they'd played out the comedic underpinnings.

Should this really have been a romantic comedy? Probably not, because that would take away from its strengths. At the same time, there would be more of a chance to score in originality.

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